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Meet Arvan: 2020 Family Advocacy Week Champion

Arvan is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from August 10-14, 2020. Through this special event, Arvan and his family will share information about his health journey, Children’s Hospital Wisconsin’s role in providing Arvan with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of kids like Arvan.

In first grade, Arvan started struggling with emotional and behavioral issues, becoming easily frustrated, yelling, crying and sometimes even running out of the classroom. He also began showing signs of depression and made statements about hurting himself. These issues began negatively affecting his education, friendships, and overall well-being.

Arvan and his mother, Leanna, met with the school staff to begin mental and behavioral health therapy at the school provided by Children's Hospital Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for Arvan’s anxiety and depression. Kristine, Arvan’s therapist, taught him how to understand and share his feelings. She also worked with Leanna, sharing tools and resources to help develop skills for the whole family to implement at home.

Once weekly therapy sessions started, Arvan’s behavior quickly improved. With the skills and tools he learned with Kristine, and modeled at home by Leanna, Arvan was learning how to manage and cope with his feelings.

The therapy program allows kids like Arvan to receive care from specialists at Children’s Hospital Wisconsin while they are in school—making appointments and support convenient and easier for the kids and families.

“The waitlists for therapists outside of the school setting would have made it nearly impossible for Arvan to get care,” says Leanna. “Thankfully having therapy provided by Children's Hospital Wisconsin right in Arvan's school made accessing care easy.”

As Arvan started second-grade last year, his mood, ability to learn, and interactions with others have positively improved. He’s continued virtual therapy appointments through the COVID-19 pandemic, which is critical to helping manage his overall health and well-being during these challenging times.

Today, Arvan is doing great. He enjoys throwing around a football, playing kickball and bowling. He also loves Pokémon, playing with blocks and having fun with his two younger siblings.

“I want the world to know that I believe in myself; I know that I’m kind, smart, and funny,” says Arvan. “If you don’t believe me, I’ll just have to show you.”


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